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House of Steel
04-19-2007, 09:34 AM
Steelers' Tomlin set for first minicamp

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, April 19, 2007

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribunereview/sports/steelers/s_503432.html


Steelers minicamp

When: Friday-Sunday
Where: Steelers' South Side practice facility

Notable: Teams will practice for the first time under new coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers will practice twice on Friday and Saturday and once Sunday.


A pair of sunglasses hung from the top button of his shirt, adding to the relaxed feel at the sprawling resort where the NFL owners' meetings were held in late March.
The Camelback Mountains, which tower over the cactuses and palm trees that dot Phoenix, provided a fitting backdrop as Mike Tomlin ate breakfast and chatted with reporters.

More than two months into his job, the Steelers' coach was still being asked about climbing to the peak of his profession.

Did the self-admitted "dreamer" think he'd get an NFL head coaching job? Does he consider himself a trailblazer? Was he surprised he got the Steelers job?

The answers, in short order, were yes, no and yeah, maybe a little.

Not that Tomlin has had time to ponder the significance of his hiring.

In no particular order, he has assembled a coaching staff, relocated his family to Pittsburgh, celebrated his 35th birthday and undoubtedly become glassy-eyed from watching game tapes of his own players and ones the Steelers are interested in drafting.

On Friday, he'll take his most significant step to date with the Steelers, as the team opens minicamp.

To understand how Tomlin got to this point, it's worth reflecting on his life.

One play that still stands out early in his career at William & Mary College is one the former wide receiver didn't make: a catch that would have gone for a touchdown.

"That was the first time I felt the gravity of letting people down, and I didn't like it," Tomlin said. "That's kind of how I developed a work ethic in regards to ball, my outlook in terms of team."

That outlook was perhaps the most profound change Tomlin went through early in his career.

Years later, he would tell a former teammate that he "felt sorry" for the upperclassmen because he wasn't as prepared as he should have been the first season he played.

What he learned about the importance of accountability not only shaped him as a player, but also stayed with him as a coach.

"Like all athletes, I said the right thing, but at the end of the day, I was probably selfish," Tomlin said. "There were some people there that were truly unselfish people, people that showed me what it was about, knowing that if they did that, I'd probably take their spot.

"That was awesome, humbling to me and, along the way, made me appreciate stuff like that, understand what true team ball is about."

It showed, particularly during subsequent offseason workouts, as Matt Kelchner, who recruited Tomlin, recalled.

The players would gather at the school track to run, and it was early enough that darkness and cold weather generally prevailed.

Yet there was Tomlin, Kelchner said, all but waving pompoms as he exhorted his teammates with equal parts cheer and effort.

He'll reprise that role in a sense during the first of two minicamps the Steelers will have -- albeit on a much larger stage.

It probably seems like just yesterday that Tomlin flew into Pittsburgh to be introduced as the new Steelers coach -- and quickly found out that his life had changed dramatically.

As his car sped toward the South Side and his first news conference, Tomlin noticed a sign on a building that welcomed him to Pittsburgh. That "rocked" him.

"You hear about the relationship this city has with this organization, but until you're part of it, you really don't know," Tomlin said. "There's nothing that can prepare you for it. It's awesome."

Tomlin says he can't go out in public without being approached by someone.

He doesn't mind the attention, though, acknowledging that it's part of the deal that comes with coaching the Steelers.

He's smart enough to know that he's warmly greeted on the streets or in restaurants in part because he has yet to lose a game.

But he's also confident that he can handle the high expectations because he doesn't like losing any more than he did touchdown passes.

"It was pretty clear early on that he was going to do special things," said Tony Dungy, who hired Tomlin to coach the secondary in Tampa Bay in 2001, even though he had never met him before the interview process. "He had the great gift to be able to talk to rookies, to Pro Bowl guys. He wasn't intimidated by anything in the NFL, and he just had this passion in his personality that got his point across."

BBG7
04-19-2007, 10:47 AM
good article...I'm looking forward to hearing how mini camp goes!

BlitzburghRockCity
04-19-2007, 11:12 AM
Sweet !! I love mini camps, it's the first chance to see the players and coaches interacting since the season ended and our first taste of the upcoming season :woot:

AZ_Steeler
04-19-2007, 12:21 PM
The season is getting closer!!!! :cope:

House of Steel
04-19-2007, 12:22 PM
I am ready for this season to roll :tt02: :tt02:

steelersgal86
04-19-2007, 12:34 PM
me too i cant wait :tt02: :tt02:

BlackGold4vr
04-19-2007, 12:48 PM
Biggest problem with the NFL season is that it is too short! It just goes by so quickly and you have to wait so long for it to come around again.

Baseball, basketball, and hockey seasons are too long. With so many games in the season it makes watching in the beginning or middle of the seasons a waste of time. These sports make you wanna fast forward to the playoffs where the games actually mean something. :lol:

Nascar season is just about right. :cope:

steelcitysfinestXL
04-19-2007, 02:27 PM
Biggest problem with the NFL season is that it is too short! It just goes by so quickly and you have to wait so long for it to come around again.

Baseball, basketball, and hockey seasons are too long. With so many games in the season it makes watching in the beginning or middle of the seasons a waste of time. These sports make you wanna fast forward to the playoffs where the games actually mean something. :lol:

Nascar season is just about right. :cope:

:plus1:

The last 2 preseason games should be non-confrence, regular season games before you get into your divisional games. preseason is too long in my opinion!!!! The regular season could be a bit longer 2 more games would be perfect. Non-confrence games would give teams like AFC NORTH teams a chance to play a dome game every year... remember in the 05' season when we played indy the first time we had not played in a dome in some time!!!

Black@Gold Forever32
04-19-2007, 02:49 PM
Faneca better have his fat *** there at mini camp.lol

House of Steel
04-19-2007, 03:13 PM
I was waiting for someone to say this.

Black@Gold Forever32
04-19-2007, 03:16 PM
I was waiting for someone to say this.

Well everybody has to there in full attendance. No distractions this year. There was to many distractions last year with being Super Bowl champs, Ben accident and the whole Cowher saga. I just want the team to get back to focus on football and concetrating on the game.:bigthumb:

BlitzburghRockCity
04-19-2007, 05:41 PM
Faneca better have his fat *** there at mini camp.lol

I can't imagine Alan not being there for the first mini camp to start getting back in a routine with the guys. If he doesn't show up I'll be surprised but not shocked completely.

House of Steel
04-19-2007, 06:13 PM
If He doesn't show, you know damn well his heart won't be in the game this season and we would be screwed.

BlitzburghRockCity
04-19-2007, 06:19 PM
Not necessarily HOS, that's why I said I wouldnt be completely shocked if he doesn't show up. Alan is a team guy, but in the offseason he's a bit of a loner and prefers to work out on his own and only show up for the mandatory workouts and then at camp.

I would hope he'll show up, but if he doesn't, it's not the end of the world.

Stlrs4Life
04-19-2007, 09:25 PM
Pretty good read. I believe us fans are more than ready also.

steelcurtaingal
04-20-2007, 08:18 AM
:tt02: i cant wait for the season to start!
on the note of Alan Faneca, i hope he shows up, but i wont be suprised, nor super angry if he doesnt.